PHDC announces Phase 2 of rental assistance for tenants affected by COVID-19. Applications to begin on July 6, 2020
Today the City of Philadelphia and PHDC announced a second phase of rental assistance for tenants affected by COVID-19. PHDC will begin accepting applications on July 6 at PHLRentAssist.org.
The first phase of rental assistance was able to assist more than 4,000 tenants. However, nearly 13,000 tenants applied to the program. Phase 2 will allow about 6,300 more renters to get help.
Funding comes to Pennsylvania from the federal CARES Act. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is distributing funds to each county in the state. Philadelphia’s share is $28.45 million.
“We are grateful to Governor Wolf and PHFA for providing funding so we can offer another round of rental assistance to Philadelphians impacted by COVID-19,” said Greg Heller, PHDC Senior Vice President of Community Investment. “Phase 1 demonstrated how much need there is. Phase 2 will help meet more of that need.”
Phase 2 will have different program criteria than Phase 1. Most notably, Phase 2 will serve tenants with a higher pre-COVID income. Any tenant in need, including applicants in Phase 1 who did not receive help, must apply in Phase 2.
Program criteria include:
- Applicants must be Philadelphia residents (renters in other counties must apply to their county’s designated organization)
- Landlords and renters must each provide information
- Renters must have lost more than 30% of their income due to reduced work hours/wages because of COVID-19, or have become unemployed after March 1 due to COVID-19
- Renters who applied for PA unemployment assistance must have done so after March 1
- Renters’ income before March 1 must be no more than 100% of the area median income, or $87,000 for a family of three (the income limit for Phase 1 was 50% of AMI)
- Assistance is limited to $750 per tenant per month and $4,500 over 6 months
- Payments will be made to landlords
- Landlords must agree to the terms of the program and may not displace the household or begin eviction proceedings for at least 60 days from the final month of rental assistance
Funding will be awarded for qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. PHDC will begin accepting applications on July 6. Applications may be submitted until September 30 or when funding runs out.
“Most of the COVID federal funding we have received has been used to keep people in their homes,” said Anne Fadullon, Director of Planning and Development. “Rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, utility assistance and emergency home repair all help prevent homelessness and stabilize neighborhoods. But Phase 1 didn’t reach everyone, and Phase 2 won’t either. The federal government needs to recognize that more can and must be done.”